EBEL 2019-2020

Discussion in 'Central Europe' started by Theokritos, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Theokritos Moderator

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    Defending champions Klagenfurt look like the team to beat this season. Same coach, same system, basically the same roster (a slight downgrade on defence, a slight upgrade on offence) and after their recent performances in the Champions Hockey League they should hit the ground running.

    Other teams have gone through considerable roster changes:

    Salzburg have released almost all of their Canadian and American players from last year. However, with signings such as Bud Holloway (from Skellefteå) and Chad Kolarik and Brendan Mikkelson (from Adler Mannheim) they should nevertheless be the #1 challenger.

    Vienna look a bit weakened, having lost not only depth but also key players like Peter Schneider (to Switzerland), Chris DeSousa (to Finland) and JP Lamoureux (to Salzburg) as well as captain Andreas Nödl (retirement). Ty Loney (from Graz) and Mike Zalewski (Cologne) are nice additions, but the other signings haven't had the desired impact yet.

    Graz have an even more Swedish outlook than last year. Without Matt Caito (to Finland) and Ty Loney (Vienna) they will be hard pressed to repeat last year's sensational run, but with additions from Sweden like Joakim Hillding and Sebastian Collberg they should have enough quality to secure a top 5 spot in the regular season which would secure qualification for the playoffs.

    Linz can be expected bounce back from the letdown of the last season. They've added Mark McNeill and Mathieu Carle and look fitter and faster than before. But so far they haven't been able to get a lot out of signing Marek Kalus (from Znojmo). Anything but a top-5 finish would be a disappointment.

    Bolzano have lost several of their best players to richer clubs – as usual. Still, their mix of grinding hockey and clever signings should keep them in the playoff race once again, even though it seems a bit more likely they won't finish in the top 5.

    Villach have switched to a Finnish coach (Jyrki Aho). With additions such as Patrick Bjorkstrand and Kevin Schmidt the club should definitely improve from last year's inferior record.

    Dornbirn on their part have turned to an entire team of Finnish coaches and can be expected to improve in the medium run, but at this point their defence is still work in progess. Jordan Subban is an impressive signing though, as is Mathias Bau Hansen at forward.

    Not sure what to expect from Fehervar, except that they will bleed goals against. They could finish anywhere from 6th to 9th.

    Znojmo and Innsbruck look like bottom dwellers to me. Znojmo have lost some quality without replacing much of it, while Innsbruck is struggling to ice a competitive team now due to the new restriction on foreign players and financial worries.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  2. Theokritos Moderator

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    First week recap:

    Klagenfurt started with an easy victory (5-0) against Fehervar, but against Vienna they were held to a tie (2-2) after 65 minutes and then defeated in SO. Vienna had more of the game and deserved the win. However, Klagenfurt may rejoice in the fact that the goaltending of Lars Haugen allows them to remain undefeated in regular play even when the rest of the team has an underwhelming day.

    Vienna narrowly lost their opening game against Graz and then narrowly defeated Klagenfurt. With 3 points out of 2 games against some of the strongest teams in the league, they should be satisfied with their start.

    Graz edged out Vienna in the their first game (2-1 in OT) and then trounced Znojmo in the second (6-3). They look formidable and are easy favorites against Bolzano this week.

    Salzburg made short work of Bolzano (5-1) and Dornbirn (5-0). They look good, but their upcoming games (vs Linz and Klagenfurt) should be more of a real test.

    Fehervar were without a chance against Klagenfurt, but managed to defeat Linz in their other game (1-0). With weaker opponents ahead (Dornbirn and Innsbruck, both at home), they're into a promising start.

    Linz were the better team against Fehervar, but their offense is not clicking yet. Their next opponent is Salzburg, so they are in for a rough patch.

    Villach overwhelmed Bolzano (7-2) and look like a team reborn after years of misery. Just how strong they really are will likely be found out in their upcoming match against Vienna.

    Bolzano had a disastrous start into the season with two heavy defeats. Their next opponents are Klagenfurt and Graz, so more dark clouds are ahead.

    Dornbirn narrowly edged out Innsbruck (2-1 in OT) and were then chanceless against Salzburg. For both Dornbirn and Innsbruck, their next games (Dornbirn at Fehervar, Innsbruck vs Znojmo) could already give a clue whether the low PO ranks are completely out of reach this season or not. Znojmo is in a similar position after their clear defeat against Graz.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  3. Dueling Banjos Registered User

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    Good write up, thanks.
     
  4. Theokritos Moderator

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    Games on September 20-21th:

    Salzburg - Linz 3-4 OT
    Salzburg were the better team in an entertaining game and had a clear edge in shots, but Linz managed to hold on and their forward lines finally clicked. Brian Lebler and Mark McNeill had 3 points each and Marek Kalus scored 2 goals. Overall the performances of both teams bode pretty well for them.

    Villach - Vienna 2-1
    Looks like Villach is indeed for real this season and could even be a contender for the top 5. Their coach Aho has the entire team playing with a plan and working hard. Goalie Brandon Maxwell is quickly becoming something of a fan favorite. Vienna on their part is not the team they have been the last few years, but still have enough quality to challenge everyone in the league.

    Bolzano - Klagenfurt 3-0
    An upset that could revive some of the criticism Klagenfurt coach Matikainen has faced prior to the last playoffs as his team has again been underwhelming offensively. Star forward Nick Petersen is in a bit of a func. Hopes are that center Lukas Haudum who will return from injury soon can provide a spark.

    Fehervar - Dornbirn 3-2 OT
    Not much to say here. One contender for the bottom playoff spots (#7-8) edge out another. Dornbirn went ahead 2-0, but Fehervar has enough quality offensively to turn a game like that around.

    Innsbruck - Znojmo 2-3
    A sobering game for the home team who look much like they're bound to finish last. The forward lines aren't working and defensively they're overdepending on Sacha Guimond who plays 30 minutes a game. Znojmo doesn't look much better though.
     
  5. Theokritos Moderator

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    Games on Sunday, Sept 22th:

    Klagenfurt - Salzburg 4-5 SO
    After the 0-3 upset vs Bolzano, Klagenfurt came out dominating in this one. They outskated, outpassed and outshot Salzburg in the first period and kept them bottled in their own end for good stretches. They only thing they didn't do was to score. In the second period they finally went ahead 1-0, but then Salzburg scored 3 consecutive goals out of pretty much nothing. Before the period was over, a shocked Klagenfurt conceded another goal. In the third Klagenfurt regained some of their composure and feet and scored 3 goals to tie the game 4-4, but Salzburg went on to win the shootout.
    Takeaway from this game: Salzburg has forwards who can create danger out of thin air, but their defensemen crumble under a strong forecheck. Klagenfurt on their part are hurt by their lack of a decent #3 defenseman.

    Graz - Bolzano 6-2
    Having four lines that are able to score, Graz managed to waltz past Bolzano without problems. At this point it's anybody's guess what to expect from Bolzano, considering they have lost three of their four games with a combined GD of 5-18 but beat Klagenfurt 3-0. Graz are about to face their toughest test so far when they face Salzburg next week.

    Vienna - Dornbirn 4-3
    Vienna cruised to a 3-0 lead but then allowed the guests to come back and tie the game. Then they added another goal for a narrow win. Not a performance Vienna fans will want to remember.

    Znojmo - Villach 3-1
    Good weekend for Znojmo with 2 regular wins for 6 points. Perhaps a timely reminder for Villach that despite of their great start into the season they haven't achieved anything yet.

    Fehervar - Innsbruck 7-6 OT
    Two defensively suspect teams and thus a high-scoring game. Good weekend for Fehervar with 4 points. Ray of hope for Insbruck: Their forwards have rediscovered their ability to put to the puck in the net at even strength.

    1. HC Red Bull Salzburg - 9 points (4 games), 19-10
    2. EC Graz 99ers - 8 points (3 games), 14-6
    3. AV19 Fehervar - 7 points (4 games), 11-13
    4. EC Villacher SV - 6 points (3 games), 10-6
    5. HC Orli Znojmo - 6 points (3 games), 9:9
    6. Vienna Capitals - 6 points (4 games), 9-9
    7. EC Klagenfurter AC - 5 points (4 games), 11-11
    8. Dornbirner EC - 4 points (3 games), 7-13
    9. HC Bolzano Südtirol - 3 points (4 games), 8-18
    10. EHC Black Wings Linz - 2 points (2 games), 5-5
    11. HC Innsbruck - 2 points (3 games), 9-12​

    Friday, September 27:
    Salzburg - Graz
    Villach - Fehervar
    Innsbruck - Klagenfurt
    Bolzano - Vienna
    Dornbirn - Znojmo

    Saturday, September 28:
    Salzburg - Znojmo
    Innsbruck - Vienna

    Sunday, September 29:
    Klagenfurt - Linz
    Fehervar - Graz
    Dornbirn - Villach
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  6. Dueling Banjos Registered User

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    Where do you watch EBEL games?

    I catch occasional game on Servus TV - hockey night.

    But can i watch (for instance) Innsbruck - KAC anywhere tonight?
     
  7. Theokritos Moderator

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    Sky Sport Austria: one game each Friday
    Servus TV: one game each Sunday streamed on YouTube

    Tomorrow's game (puck drops at 17:30 CET): Dornbirn vs Villach.

     
  8. Dueling Banjos Registered User

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    Not much if you ask me. I expected there would be more games streams available but no, it looks like they arent televised at all.
     
  9. Theokritos Moderator

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    Correct.

    Home games by Bolzano and Fehervar are streamed by Video33 and DIGI Sport, but that's it. Austrian rights are held by Sky and they only broadcast one game per week and allow Servus TV another.

    League schedule with broadcast info
     
  10. Dueling Banjos Registered User

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    Thanks for the link.

    1 game per week on Sky is seriously weak.
     
  11. Theokritos Moderator

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    Third week recap:

    Successful week for Salzburg with an important win (3-1) against a good Graz side and a SO win against Znojmo. Their defense remains suspicious (with some horrible giveaways, namely by Alexander Pallestrang) but their two top lines (Raffl – Herburger – Hughes and Holloway – Rauchenwald – Kolarik) have enough scoring punch to bail them out. Against Znojmo, they conceded a 0-3 deficit but came back to make it 3-3.

    Graz conceded defeat to Salzburg and beat Fehervar 4-3 in their other game. Like Salzburg, they're offensive minded but their scoring is less top-heavy and more stretched out over three lines rather than two.

    Klagenfurt got a lucky 1-0 win against Innsbruck (the lone goal was scored 4 seconds before full time) and then lost 2-4 against Linz. Despite of Lukas Haudum adding some danger to their offense, their scoring touch remains underwhelming while their defensive game is lacking intensity. New defenceman Petter Hansson hasn't exactly looked EBEL calibre so far.

    Linz haven't played at home yet because of ongoing works at their arena, but after defeating Salzburg they now have also beaten Klagenfurt away. In both games their opponent was the superior side, but Linz are solid enough to hold out defensively and they have enough scoring power to hurt any team in the league. They look like they aren't easy to beat at all this season.

    Villach had a very good week. They beat an offensively dangerous Fehervar team 3-1 and then trounced Dornbirn 8-4. Against Dornbirn they were already up 6-1 before they started to take it easy. The team is playing with a lot more brain and has much more depth than last year and with a match against Innsbruck coming up, they should be able to continue their successful run.

    Good week for Vienna too with an unchallenged 4-1 win in Bolzano and a 3-2 OT win in Innsbruck.

    Znojmo continued their surprisingly successful run with a 3-1 over Dornbirn and a 3-4 SO defeat in Salzburg which earned them another point. It's safe to say they're far exceeding expectations so far.

    Dornbirn are a mess defensively and instead of showing improvement, matters seem to be getting worse. The 1-3 against Znojmo was followed by a demoralizing 4-8 against Villach. Both were home games.

    Innsbruck also lost two home games in a row, albeit both games were tight with a 0-1 against Klagenfurt and a 2-3 OT against Vienna.

    1. EC Red Bull Salzburg - 14 points (6 games)
    2. EC Villacher SV - 12 points (5 games)
    3. EC Graz 99ers - 11 points (5 games)
    4. Vienna Capitals - 11 points (6 games)
    5. HC Orli Znojmo - 10 points (5 games)
    6. EC Klagenfurter AC - 8 points (6 games)
    7. AV91 Fehervar - 7 points (6 games)
    8. EHC Black Wings Linz - 5 points (3 games)
    9. HC Innsbruck - 3 points (5 games, GD -5)
    10. Dornbirner EC - 3 points (6 games, GD -12)
    11. HC Bolzano Südtirol - 3 points (5 games, GD -13)
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  12. Theokritos Moderator

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    And now Klagenfurt coach Petri Matikainen is setting an example: Two of his team's most prominent players, forward Nick Petersen and defenseman Adam Comrie, will be healthy scratches for the next game.

    Friday, October 4th:
    Znojmo - Klagenfurt
    Vienna - Fehervar
    Villach - Innsbruck
    Linz - Bolzano
    Graz - Dornbirn

    Sunday, October 6th:
    Vienna - Salzburg (free stream available on YouTube)
    Klagenfurt - Graz
    Fehervar - Znojmo
    Dornbirn - Linz
    Innsbruck - Bolzano
     
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  13. Theokritos Moderator

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    Vienna vs Salzburg live on YouTube today:

     
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  14. Theokritos Moderator

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    Fourth week recap:

    Vienna cruised to a victory against Fehervar in their first game. In their second they showed a good performance against Salzburg, but were stonewalled by goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux and killed by the scoring efficiency of Salzburg's Raffl – Herburger – Hughes line. Just like in their game against Klagenfurt, Salzburg managed to carve out a victory (4-1) despite being outplayed and outshot.

    Klagenfurt made a step back towards the right track as their forwards seem to have found their scoring groove again. At Znojmo they were already trailing 0-3 before they turning the game around and winning 4-3 in the shootout. In their second game against Graz, they raced to an early 3-0 lead and never looked back. Looks like a timely turnaround since Klagenfurt is about to face Biel/Bienne (Switzerland) in the Champions Hockey League tomorrow.

    Not a reassuring week for Graz. Their performance against Dornbirn left something to be desired (despite of the 3-1 result) and against Klagenfurt they didn't stand a chance (1-5).

    Linz had a great opportunity to climb up the standing with two games against bottom dwellers, but suffered a surprising 2-5 defeat against Bolzano and barely edged out Dornbirn for a 3-2 win.

    Just like Salzburg, Villach only played one game. They looked likely to continue their successful run as they piled up a 5-1 lead against Innsbruck, but didn't do enough afterwards and their backup goaltender got exposed badly. Villach ended up with a 6-7 defeat in OT and it's not likely their second goalie will get another start this season.

    Znojmo were again able to gather 4 points this week and make up ground. They only conceded defeat to Klagenfurt in the SO and then crushed Fehervar. But I still can't help thinking they are overperforming at the moment.

    Fehervar suffered a painful blowback with two severe defeats (1-6 against Vienna, 2-6 against Znojmo). Defensively other teams are able to take advantage of them and offensively, while they have some quality, they're not consistent enough.

    Bolzano showed improvement with 3 points against Linz and 1 point against Innsbruck. Innsbruck on their part finally got their first wins (7-6 OT against Villach, 3-2 SO against Bolzano) but they were just as narrow as their prior defeats were. Both teams move up the standing and Dornbirn (defeats against Graz and Linz) is now on their own at the bottom, despite giving Linz a good fight.

    1. EC Red Bull Salzburg - 17 points (7 games), GD +15
    2. Vienna Capitals - 14 points (8 games), GD +6
    3. EC Graz 99ers - 14 points (7 games), GD +5
    4. HC Orli Znojmo - 14 points (7 games), GD +4
    5. EC Villacher SV - 13 points (6 games), GD +9
    6. EC Klagenfurter AC - 13 points (8 games), GD +4
    7. EHC Black Wings Linz - 8 points (5 games), GD +0
    8. HC Innsbruck - 7 points (7 games), GD -3
    9. HC Bolzano Südtirol - 7 points (7 games), GD -11
    10. AV91 Fehervar - 7 points (8 games), GD -14
    11. Dornbirner EC - 3 points (8 games), GD -15
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  15. Theokritos Moderator

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    Fifth week (October 11th + 13th) recap:

    Salzburg was able to consolidate their lead with a hard-fought SO win against Villach and a walkover (8-2) against Innsbruck. Unlike other teams who have also run up a lead against Innsbruck, Salzburg didn't stop playing in the 3rd period. Hence the blowout result.

    Villach only narrowly lost vs Salzburg after a good performance and then proceeded to beat Graz 4-0. They are in fine shape and for the first time in years they can look forward to the traditional derby against their rivals Klagenfurt with reasons to be confident.

    Klagenfurt on their part waltzed to a 6-1 victory against a Dornbirn team that looks anything but competitive right now.

    Vienna gained 3 valuable points with a 3-2 away at Znojmo.

    Znojmo continue to perform well. After the narrow defeat against Vienna they edged out Linz in OT for a 4-3 win.

    While Linz still doesn't get everything out of their roster yet, they look like they are bound to climb up the table. They didn't leave Fehervar a chance in their first game and picked up a point at Znojmo. With two games in hand compared to Graz and Bolzano, their prospects are good.

    Graz are caught in a downward spiral. Having lost one of their best forwards (Greg Squires to TPS Turku), they gave away a 4-1 lead against Innsbruck in their first game (5-6 on SO) and were chanceless against Villach in their second game. Team captain Oliver Setzinger hasn't exactly been a model of behavior lately.

    Bolzano had a successful week with two straight victories against Dornbirn and Fehervar.

    Innsbruck managed to eke out another comeback win (vs Graz), but were crushed by Salzburg in their second game.

    Fehervar had another bad week with two straight defeats (0-4 at Linz, 3-4 vs Bolzano). The same goes for Dornbirn (2-5 at Bolzano, 1-6 vs Klagenfurt).

    1. EC Red Bull Salzburg - 22 points (9 games, GD +22)
    2. EC Villacher SV - 17 points (8 games, GD +12)
    3. Vienna Capitals - 17 points (8 games, GD +7)
    4. EC Klagenfurter AC - 16 points (9 games, GD +9)
    5. HC Orli Znojmo - 16 points (9 games, GD +4)
    6. EC Graz 99ers - 15 points (9 games, GD +0)
    7. HC Bolzano Südtirol - 13 points (9 games, GD -7)
    8. EHC Black Wings Linz - 12 points (7 games, GD +3)
    9. HC Innsbruck - 9 points (9 games, GD -8)
    10. AV91 Fehervar - 7 points (10 games, GD -19)
    11. Dornbirner EC - 3 points (10 games, GD -23)
     
  16. Theokritos Moderator

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    Sixth week (October 18th + 20th) recap:

    Among the challengers for the title, Klagenfurt had the best weekend: First they edged out their traditional rivals Villach 1-0 in the Carinthian derby and then they got 2 points in a 3-2 SO win at Linz. The other winners of the round are Fehervar and Bolzano. Fehervar upset Salzburg 3-2 and then won 3-1 against Vienna despite being outchanced and outshot all game. Bolzano gave Znojmo an unexpected 9-0 thrashing.

    Most teams had mixed results:

    Salzburg conceded a surprising 2-3 defeat to Fehervar but won 4-2 at Znojmo.
    Villach lost 0-1 to Klagenfurt, which is not a terrible result per se but has to sting since both clubs are arch rivals, and then they beat Dornbirn 5-0.
    Vienna didn't look too good against Innsbruck yet won 6-1, then they looked a lot better against Fehervar but lost 1-3.
    Graz beat Linz and then lost 1-4 against Innsbruck. With Peter Åslin the second of their three top scorers have left the team now.
    Innsbruck played pretty well against Vienna but were let down by their scoring finish and lost 1-6, then they played well again against Graz and won 4-1.

    The losers of the week are Linz and Znojmo. Without their top scorer Brian Lebler, Linz lost 0-4 against Graz and then 2-3 after SO against Klagenfurt. They still have 2 games in hand though. Znojmo were subject to a 0-9 blowout vs Fehervar. I fully expected the team to come down to earth sooner or later, but I don't really know what happened there. Dornbirn on their part were once again soundly beaten (0-5 against Villach) and at this point it's legit to ask how long the club managment wants to keep looking on while the losing streak continues and hope vanishes.

    1. Salzburg - 25 points (11 games, GD +23)
    2. Klagenfurt - 21 points (11 games, GD +11)
    3. Villach - 20 points (10 games, GD +16)
    4. Vienna - 20 points (11 games, GD +10)
    5. Graz - 18 points (11 games, GD +1)
    6. Bolzano - 16 points (10 games, GD +2)
    7. Znojmo - 16 points (11 games, GD -7)
    8. Linz - 13 points (9 games, GD -2)
    9. Fehervar - 13 points (12 games, GD -16)
    10. Innsbruck - 12 points (11 games, GD -10)
    11. Dornbirn - 3 points (11 games, GD -28)

    Next games:

    Tuesday, October 22th:
    Linz - Graz, 19:15 CET

    Friday, October 25th (all 19:15 CET):
    Salzburg - Bolzano
    Klagenfurt - Znojmo
    Innsbruck - Villach
    Vienna - Linz
    Graz - Fehervar

    Sunday, October 27th (all 17:30 CET):
    Villach - Salzburg
    Fehervar - Klagenfurt
    Dornbirn - Vienna
    Linz - Innsbruck (livestream on YouTube)
     
  17. pukovnik Registered User

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    Erste is pulling out of sponsorship from next season. Servus TV also.
     
  18. Theokritos Moderator

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    Erste Bank has been sponsoring the league for 17 years and contributed 2 Million € per season. It remains to be seen if another sponsor can be found who is willing to spend as much. Of course, the league name will also change from EBEL to another name now.
     
  19. Rigafan Registered User

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    Do we know why?

    It will be weird the league not being called EBEL. Usually the sponsor name doesn't mean anything but with the Austiran League, to me at least, as always been known as the EBEL!
     
  20. Theokritos Moderator

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    "Only" since 2003... Well yeah, that's a long time. And no, it's not known why the decided to end the sponsorship now.
     
  21. KTl Registered User

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    The name EBEL is connected with turning the Austrian league into an international competition. It will be interesting to see whether Erste Bank will continue to sponsor the Hungarian/Romanian Erste Liga (former MOL Liga). The current contract with Erste Liga is also up for renewal in 2020.
     
  22. Theokritos Moderator

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    To be fair, it had basically already been an international competition from 1991-2000, but yes, it has (again) become an option for clubs from neighboring countries since 2006 and it will indeed be interesting to see if Erste Bank continues to sponsor the Hungarian/Romanian league.
     
  23. Theokritos Moderator

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    Seventh week (Oct 25 & 27) plus Oct 28:

    Salzburg had a decent week: they narrowly lost against Bolzano (1-2 after SO) and then edged out Villach (2-1). Their lead doesn'tyseem to be in danger.

    Klagenfurt also had two close games, a 4-3 against Znojmo and a 2-3 against Fehervar. While the results are there for Klagenfurt, the on-ice performance still leaves a little to be desired. Coach Matikainen keeps changing the forward lines and now center Lukas Haudum is sent down to the farm team for reasons not exactly apparent.

    Vienna is also getting the results (4-2 vs Linz, 4-3 vs Dornbirn), but their performances haven't exactly been convincing either. Right now they don't look like a team that should necessarily be sitting at #2 of the table and yet that's where they are.

    Villach hasn't lived up to their strong start lately with a bunch of defeats (3-8 against Innsbruck, 1-2 against Salzburg) but haven't looked too bad outside of their meltdown in Innsbruck. With the 4th rank in the table and one game in hand, they're still in a decent position. However, their top center Patrick Bjorkstrand is out with an injury for some time.

    Linz keeps climbing up the table as they get more games (only 1 in hand now). Their results are still mixed (2-4 vs Vienna, 5-4 vs Innsbruck) as their scoring remains a bit underwhelming, but I think they should be able to make up even more ground as the season proceeds.

    Znojmo have come down to earth, but remain competitive. After a 2-3 against Klagenfurt they took advantage of a tired Innsbruck team on Monday (9-3).

    Fehervar had a great week again with two straight victories over Graz (6-3) and Klagenfurt (3-2). Their situation has improved a lot since mid-October. Lately their scoring keeps them winning games in which they are otherwise outplayed.

    Bolzano too continue their upward trend. They only had one game, but won 2-1 on SO at Salzburg.

    Graz on their part continue their downward trend with a humiliating 3-6 against Fehervar. They have lost six out of their last seven games and their coach Doug Mason will have to come up with a reaction soon before the mood turns to despair.

    Innsbruck keep coming up with solid efforts. A surprisingly high 8-3 win against Villach was followed by a narrow 4-5 at Linz. But after playing on Friday and Sunday and with injury worries setting in, they were overwhelmed by a rested Znojmo site on Monday.

    Dornbirn added yet another defeat (2-3 vs Vienna) to their losing streak and again showed little sign of not being contemplate with the dreadful situation. But at least this game was the final straw for head coach Jussi Tupamäki. His successor Kai Suikkanen looks like a good hire who should be a safe bet to turn the club competitive again.
     
  24. Theokritos Moderator

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    Recap for the games since October 31:

    Salzburg keeps being the most consistent team in the league. They got 3 points straight against Innsbruck (7-1) and Graz (5-1) and curved out a 3-2 SO win at Linz. Their only loss was a surprising 1-2 against a revived Dornbirn site.

    Bolzano have completely turned around after an inferior start into the season. They earned 12 points in their last 6 games with wins against Villach (6-4), Innsbruck (4-1), Fehervar (5-2) and Znojmo (twice: 4-2 and 3-1). Their only defeat (1-3 against Vienna) doesn't hurt much.

    Klagenfurt and Vienna have again had lacklustre performances and this time the results matched the way they played. Klagenfurt won against Dornbirn (5-1) and Vienna (8-3), but lost against Villach (1-3), Graz (2-3) and Innsbruck (2-3). The losses against arch rivals Villach and against a limited Innsbruck squad are particularly galling. Vienna on their part won 3-1 against Bolzano, but were defeated by Linz (3-6), Klagenfurt (3-8) and Villach (2-3 OT).

    Linz keep climbing up the table. They haven't been defeated after 60 minutes in the last 6 games as they won against Vienna (6-3), Innsbruck (4-3) and Villach (5-1) and had OT defeats against Salzburg (2-3) and Znojmo (3-4).

    Villach have cooled off sightly after their strong start into the season, but they're still getting points. They won 3-1 against their nemesis Klagenfurt and also curved out OT wins on the road against Fehervar and Vienna. Their defeats came against two of the hottest teams in the league, Bolzano (4-6) and Linz (1-5).

    Graz were in crisis modus in October with 5 defeats in 6 games. Now they have bounced back a little with three narrow wins (3-2 against each of Znjomo, Dornbirn and Klagenfurt) in four games. The last game was a 1-5 defeat against Salzburg though and it remains to be seen if those narrow victories are sustainable.

    Znojmo keep trending downward with 5 points in 5 games. Their only 3 points victory was against bottom dweller Dornbirn (4-3). Their 4-3 in OT at Linz looks a bit more impressive, but on the other hand you have defeats against Graz and Bolzano (twice). Another team that is trending downward is Fehervar with 3 points in 4 games. They only beat Dornbirn after SO and lost against Innsbruck, Villach and Bolzano.

    Innsbruck are weakened by injuries and suspensions. Their defeats against Salzburg (1-7), Bolzano (1-4) and Linz (3-4) didn't come as a surprise. However, they still acquired 6 points with two hard-fought victories against Fehervar (3-1) and, surprisingly, Klagenfurt (3-2).

    Dornbirn show clear signs of improvement under their new coach Kai Suikkanen. After a 1-5 against Klagenfurt, all of their games have been close affairs and they managed to upset leader Salzburg for a surprising road win (2-1). Another point was earned in a 3-4 OT loss against Fehervar. 4 points out of 5 games is modest enough, but compared to the disastrous record under their old coach (1 point in 12 games), it's like night and day.

    1. Salzburg - 37 points (in 17 games), GF:GA 67:34
    2. Bolzano - 33 points (in 17), 59:46
    3. Klagenfurt - 30 points (in 18), 57:41
    4. Linz - 30 points (in 17), 55:47
    5. Vienna - 30 points (in 17), 51:45
    6. Villach - 27 points (in 17), 56:47
    7. Graz - 27 points (in 17), 46:54
    8. Znojmo - 24 points (in 18), 57:62
    9. Fehervar - 22 points (in 18), 44:61
    10. Innsbruck - 21 points (in 19), 59:79
    11. Dornbirn - 7 points (in 17), 31:66

    Newly acquired players:
    Keaton Ellerby (D), Dornbirn (0 games so far)
    Connor Brickley (F), Salzburg (2 games so far)
    Scott Darling (G), Innsbruck (3 games so far)
    Rob Flick (F), Znojmo (3 games so far)
    Félix Girard (F), Fehervar (4 games so far)
     
  25. Theokritos Moderator

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    Recap of the games since November 22:

    Klagenfurt are the biggest gainers with a winning streak of 4 regulation wins, including victories against Salzburg (3-1), Bolzano (3-0) and Vienna (1-0).

    Salzburg lost some ground with home defeats against both Klagenfurt and Znojmo (1-4). They face two difficult opponents in Klagenfurt and Linz next and could lose the #1 spot this weekend.

    Bolzano didn't have their strongest run: they needed OT to defeat Graz and Dornbirn and they lost against Klagenfurt and Linz. Their only 3 point gain in 5 games came against Fehervar with another close result (4-3).

    Linz got wacked by Villach (1-5), cruised to two wins against weak opposition (6-0 Dornbirn and 4-1 Innsbruck) and then edged out a 4-3 away at Bolzano.

    Villach beat Linz and Graz (2-0), then lost two in a row (3-5 Znojmo and 2-3 Fehervar) before another win (4-3 Innsbruck).

    Znojmo have a nice run: since losing 4-6 at Vienna, they have an active winning streak of 3 regulation wins, two of them away against Villach (5-3) and leader Salzburg (4-1).

    Vienna manage to keep themselves in the mix. They beat Znojmo and Graz and narrowly lost to Salzburg (1-2 OT) and Klagenfurt (0-1).

    Fehervar remain competitive with wins against Innsbruck and Villach. Their other games were defeats (Salzburg, Znojmo, Bolzano).

    Dornbirn continue to trend upward. Their performances are still not quite to the liking of their new coach, but at least they have now defeated Innsbruck (5-2) and Graz (4-3) and gained a point (3-4 OT) vs Bolzano. They were chanceless in their other two games (0-6 Linz and 0-4 Klagenfurt).

    The biggests losers since November 22 have been Graz and Innsbruck. Graz have an active losing streak of 6 games with negative results against Villach, Vienna, Salzburg and Dornbirn. Their only point came in a 2-3 OT defeat against Bolzano. Innsbruck with their diluted roster were no match for Dornbirn, Fehervar and Linz. With a few players returned from illness and injury, they still lost 3-4 at Villach.

    1. Salzburg - 45 points (in 22 games)
    2. Klagenfurt - 42 points (in 22)
    3. Bolzano - 40 points (in 22)
    4. Linz - 39 points (in 21)
    5. Vienna - 37 points (in 21)
    6. Villach - 36 points (in 22)
    7. Znojmo - 33 points (in 22)
    8. Graz - 28 points (in 22)
    9. Fehervar - 28 points (in 23)
    10. Innsbruck - 21 points (in 23)
    11. Dornbirn - 14 points (in 22)

    Games this coming weekend:

    Friday:
    Klagenfurt - Salzburg
    Graz - Bolzano (live on Sky Sport)
    Linz - Dornbirn
    Znojmo - Villach
    Innsbruck - Vienna

    Sunday:
    Salzburg - Linz (live on YouTube)
    Bolzano - Klagenfurt
    Villach - Vienna
    Dornbirn - Znojmo
    Fehervar - Graz

    Salzburg vs Linz stream available starting Sunday 17:15 CET (11:15 EST):

     

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